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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Land Of Lilliput: Dodgers 10, Padres 1

Wade LeBlanc has made four major-league starts, and three of them against the Dodgers. At the rate things are going, he's probably grateful that the season is going to be over in a few games, and that he won't get to face the Dodgers again any time soon. His first-inning beating commenced with a leadoff walk to Matt Kemp and continued through the slings of consecutive doubles to Russell Martin and Manny Ramirez, Andre Ethier's walk, and capped by Nomar's sparkling, thrilling three-run homer. Things kept going after that — Billingsley even drove in a run on a suicide squeeze — but LeBlanc eventually settled down, despite allowing ten Dodgers to come to the plate, and got himself out of the inning, but with the implicit understanding that this was the Dodgers' game to lose.

In fact, LeBlanc only lasted two and a third painful innings, but so it was for the Pads, who never really put up a fight; their lone run came in the second, with Ed Gonzalez cashing in baby brother Adrian Gonzalez' leadoff walk with two out. It's not as if the Padres did absolutely nothing against Chad Billingsley, who in fact failed to retire the side in order in any frame, but he never was in any serious trouble, either.

It was a night of multiple substitutions, one of the things that drives me crazy about the National League game, especially double switches. This year I've been scoring with Patrick A. McGovern's modified vertical scorecard, which has the advantages of being free and printable when I need them, as opposed to the Rawlings 17SB scorebook I had been using previously; the downside, of course, is that now I have a half-ream of spent scoresheets that I need to either digitize, file, or discard on my desk. Both have only three name slots for each batting position, and in a major league game, that's ridiculous. The two spot in the Padres lineup suffered four substitutions alone, as did Casey Blake's six-hole. I have something else against double switches, and that is they're inevitably impossible to decode in the stadium over the general din of the crowd; if it wasn't for my phone's ability to pick up play-by-play, I'd be totally lost most of the time.

So, a glorious and easy Dodger victory, combined with the Cards taking care of the Snakes 7-4 in St. Louis, dragged the Dodgers' magic number to three. Jake Peavy has had his start moved to Thursday, which means Shawn Estes vs. Clayton Kershaw tonight. The Dodgers can't clinch until Thursday at the earliest; if they don't, it will have to happen on the road in San Francisco, which would undoubtedly bring thoughts of revenge for the Solomon Torres game to mind for the Giants.

Postscriptum: Thanks to the Sons for the ticket vouchers; I've got a ridiculous record on other people's tickets.

Yahoo boxDodgers recap

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